Step 30: Apprenticeship – the Reality

Hello fellow bloggers and readers,

I am terribly sorry I haven’t written in many many months. All I can say is that LIFE IS HARD, but there are moments that are so rewarding. This might be a lengthy post, but it is a recap of everything I’ve been through from my California leave to now.

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Being a dancer

Why else would you waste money and time being here [in the studio], if you’re only going to leave without making any money and tired? You need to have those moments that make you realize that you love doing this!

-Kristina Flutey 

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Backtracking:

When I moved to Chicago, I did so with a single two-week paycheck and no prospect of any job here. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my mother before I moved here since I was spending a lot of time with my partner, at the time. I am sure that 90% of everyone was disappointed that I left a very promising future in Physics for the pursuit of happiness in dance. A week or two after moving to Chicago, my partner and I broke up. It was the one relationship I wanted more than anything, the most serious I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t right to begin with. Right from the start of it – I wasn’t enough and people will get what they want, no matter where it is they get it. That is how I knew it was serious – I went through a deep heartbreak, but stayed to try to work it out – in the end, it wasn’t meant to be.

This caused a temporary rift between my best friend, Marco and I. He saw that I deserved better, when I was blinded by the “rose colored eyes”. Thank goodness he forgave me and is my number 1 supporter now. 

When I arrived in Chicago, I was lucky enough to have a great friend, and fellow scholarship student, English S, who allowed me to live with her. Unfortunately, we had a bad housing situation with the couple we lived with and both had to move out of there. I had finally found a job, a week or two later, at the LEGO store. 

Working for LEGO has to be the most depressing job I ever had. The people I worked with were relatively nice, but they seemed so involved with the store’s drama that it was hard to breathe. The customers were the worst part of it – so needy, greedy and bitchy. I’d grow so frustrated that I’d always hate the thought of going to work. It didn’t feel as though my days off were really days off.. it just drained the life out of me. I would choose not to do anything the days I had work – other than the required scholarship classes in the morning to midday.

When the snow hit, I was in an even worse state. Coming from California, I didn’t realize what snow clothes were. I also didn’t realize what cold was. Period. Enough said about that.

After the holidays, where I had the chance of going to see my mom, I was lucky enough to find a new job. I had a Donation Call Center job, which was a step up from LEGO, but still quite bad. The company had a very iffy feel to it, and they worked by having people crank out high money through these phone calls while paying them bare minimum wage, with the promise of higher pay after a month. I didn’t have experience with these type of companies, and soon realized the meaning of the term “the revolving door”. They would work people to the bone for a month or two, on “probation”, then fire them and get new people who would go through the same cycle. In-genius, but awful.

In the month of February, I had the opportunity to visit a local suburb, Crystal Lake, and perform with the amazing Becky Mikos for her church. We did a splendid and lovely duet, which made many people a bit emotional and fulfilled me in every way as an artist.

During my time with this company, I began auditioning. 

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Auditions Attended and Results:

*Giordano Dance – Made it through 3 rounds of rep

*Oklahoma City Ballet – Made it through until after pirouettes

*Visceral Dance Chicago – Made it through ballet class

*Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – Made it through ballet class

*River North Dance Chicago – Made it through first round of rep

*Thodos Dance Chicago – Made it through interview, but was called a week later with unfortunate news that there was nothing I could be offered.

*Adidas Runner Model – Got through the callback 

*New Dances (show for Thodos) – Got cast in Annie Duetz work

*Hedwig Dances (male audition) – made it through first day

*Hedwig Dances (company audition) – made it past callback 

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After the Thodos audition, I went looking for another job. That is when my luck turned around. I found the best job I’ve ever had and my place here in Chicago at COOP Gym. I am very happy here, and love it immensely. I work out there before going to my scholarship classes and it has given me an extra boost of power. I love every single person that I work with and I’m lucky to have them and the members in my life.

I was given the opportunity of working with Annie Duetz for her work for the New Dances show. It was such a great experience which taught me so much! 

Here is a promo of her work:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/100526891″>Choreographer Spotlight: Annie Deutz</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/thodosdance”>Thodos Dance Chicago</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

It turns out that I was even luckier than I thought to be in this work. I was given the opportunity to have a duet with Sarah C, another great friend and former scholarship student. The day of our dress rehearsal, we had auditioned for Hedwig Dances and got to partner with each other. The next day, opening night, we found out that we both had a callback!

Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, and we both showed up to the callback. Once again, we got to partner with each other at the audition. Today, Aug 1st, we were both offered an apprentice position for Hedwig Dances. 🙂

You just never really know.

Now that I have an apprenticeship, which doesn’t start until later next month with an intensive, the real work begins. I’ve gone through such pain, injuries and trials this year alone; but that is nothing compared to the work I need to put into this to hopefully get a position as a full company member with Hedwig. I’m so more than excited to be working with these incredibly talented and mature dancers and I have so many people to thank!

Here is a clip of some of Hedwig’s work:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/74125033″>LineofSighsSelectionweb</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user2972120″>Hedwig Dances</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Before there was the Lou Conte Scholarship Program at Hubbard Street Dance Center, there was my home in California:

Mom, who is the center of my whole Universe. I owe her nothing, yet I would give her my life.

My blood family and my Carreon family, who all have helped shape me into who I am now and have supported me through thick and thin.

Darlene Z, this lady gave me the biggest opportunity of all. She gave me a dance scholarship and believed so much in a boy who had known nothing about dance.

Doris Ressl, one of my best friends now and the one person I battled at first. She showed me that dance was my truest of passions and helped me discover that this was what I was meant to do. 

Marco C, my bestest of all friends and a huge part of my family. He, along with Doris, helped me get to where I am now. He is my number 1 fan and will always be a huge part of my life.

Kenneth W, who gave such great kickass ballet classes.

While in scholarship I learned so much thanks to the great instructors we had. 

Beruite, Monday ballet, as well as second ballet class instructor who taught us more than just great technique. She taught us that there needs to be life and joy in dancing. “People with circus bodies are nice to watch, but not for two hours! I want to be an individual on stage, not a circus performer.”

Lizzie, Monday contemporary, she taught us to find new ways of moving, precision and expressive technique. 

Nicole, Tuesday Pilates. She might be little but she is quite fierce. She taught me strength, and to never underestimate myself.

Claire, Tuesday and Friday ballet and Friday Pilates, who really should be called Momma Claire. She mentored us all, and through her we have found new heights. I owe her the majority of this. She gave me a chance and an opportunity. She also gave me the inspiration to be more.

Victor, Tuesday Cuban Contemporary, my main man! Victor is someone who I looked up to always. He showed us that we could go so much further with our movement, and he taught me all I needed to know to get this far. Streeeeeetch!

Laura, Wednesday ballet, who taught us that ballet isn’t just 2-D. You need to feel the spiraling of the Universe! It is because of you that the Universe spirals!

Anna, Wednesday Gaga, she taught me about me Lena! A shake is a quake that happens to you!

Meredith/Lucas/Terry, Thursday ballet subs, who really taught me so much in the Hubbard Street Intensive and throughout the year. I especially owe so much to Meredith, who without her, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to move to Chicago. She’s a huge inspiration.

Frankie/Ricky, Thursday contemporary, these guys who taught me to be much more expansive than I was being. See every corner in the room. Let the air move through the fingers and back.

Kristina, Friday Laban. Kristina is such an inspiration to me and she will never know it. She is the kindest person alive, so full of knowledge, and has such a love of dance. She has probably helped me progress the most with my body awareness and development. Another big inspiration of mine.

Erin, Horton sub, who tried to teach me to be SNATCH!

Also, the following subs: Jessie G, Michele R, Kristina I, Margie C, Wini H, Ben W, Glenn E, Robyn M, Jamie M, Patti E, Kirsten S, G Bagley, Kim C, Shannon J, Trae T, Sarah S, Ariane D, Ethan K, Tammy M, Melinda W, and everyone I forgot to mention!

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Almost a whole year has passed since I left, and I never thought I’d see this day. It fills me with happiness, but also fear and sorrow of what is to come.

The journey hasn’t ended at all. On the contrary, it has just begun. Once I leave scholarship (not for another couple of weeks), will I have to juggle trying to prove myself in this company by working to my fullest potential, keeping up with my ballet classes on my own, my job at COOP, and everything else that is involved. 

I’m not quite sure what the future holds, but I know I ain’t going down without a fight.

Much Love,

Ruben

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Week 14&15: Buddies and Injuries

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Haven’t posted in a couple of weeks because I have been SO BUSY!

Of course, last week I continued the 6:30a yoga at Chicago School of Yoga. It went very well, except for the fact that I did not get much sleep at all last week. That weekend wasn’t much help either since I had another paid photo/video-shoot and work all weekend. Needless to say, this week has gone somewhat better.

I did commit to the 6:30a yoga only on Monday and Tuesday of this week. However, by Wednesday, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t handle waking up so early. I skipped yoga on Wed, Thu and Fri! But, my body and mind have felt so much better with the added rest. Unfortunately, I got injured a bit on Thursday and still decided to take ballet on Friday. Because of this, I couldn’t finish off my Friday classes and now I’m lying in bed (lazily) watching Lord of The Rings and eating chocolate cake + popcorn. I’m sure this isn’t conducive to my pre-audition regimen but I think I deserve it!

This week I have committed to taking at least three dance technique courses per day (meaning two ballet and one modern/contemporary) and a Pilates class when it fits the schedule. I believe the fact that I just abruptly did the second ballet class everyday (even after being exhausted and with little rest AND a morning yoga class each morning on Mon and Tues) is the reason why I am now lying in bed like a cow. But I like cows, so its okay!

Last week was very nice because I got to meet Maxine Patronik! Now you might be wondering why this matters at all. Well, Maxine is an incredible dancer who I met through this very blog! She actually started reading my blog, then contacted me, which eventually led to her adding me on Facebook, and lastly, her getting back home for winter break and taking Claire’s class with me!!! 🙂 Maxine is originally from the Chicago area, and so she has danced here before. She even has her own blog!! Check it out: http://truthofthemovement.wordpress.com/
She’s in the LINES Ballet BFA program. 🙂

This weeks highlights:

  • First official week of doing the 2nd ballet class everyday!
  • Guest instructor – Monique – on Thursday. I love her class!
  • Taking HSDC Company Class THU morning because our studio was ice cold when we got there. (O.M.G) 😀
  • Pulling my groin. 😦 (working too hard, possibly?)

Not much else to say. Auditions are right around the corner and once this injury/sprain/pull heals I will be so on it! 🙂

My audition list for this season:

  1. Giordano Dance – Feb 2nd
  2. Oklahoma City Ballet – Feb 16th
  3. Visceral Dance – March 2nd
  4. HS2 – March 8&9th
  5. Thodos Dance – March 15th
  6. Milwaukee Ballet – March 16th
  7. River North Dance – March 23rd
  8. Minnesota Ballet – April 5th

I might add or subtract some. But this is the rough outline. So… Ya’ll have something to look forward to VERY soon. 😀

If you have any suggestions on any other auditions, or know of any that I didn’t post on here that I’m attending, please let me know!

Ruben

Week 13: Christmas-Wedding-Sketch-Shoot 2014

Welcome back!
I haven’t updated in a while.

I went on a hiatus because it was the Christmas break, which meant that we had TWO whole weeks of off training. My body really needed that. I did absolutely NOTHING! I know that sounds bad, but I think I recovered in areas that were in a bit of pain before. Although, I did lose A LOT of my physical fitness and dancer-related muscle.

The first week I would wake up and feel so much unusual pain in areas I hadn’t felt all Fall semester long! I think it was my body rejuvenating itself, the hard way.

I did go back home to California for the break, which was SO fantastic! It was nearly 80 degrees the entire week I was there. 🙂 (This meant that Christmas didn’t really feel like Christmas.) But it was great to see all my friends and family.

On my first few days, I stayed with my best friend, Marco, and went to Doris Ressl and Royce Acosta’s wedding. (My first conscious wedding!) It was the BEST wedding EVEEERRRR!! If I ever get married, I want one just like theirs! I would say that his ring was the best male groom ring I had ever seen: it had a gear in the middle which moved the top and bottom bands. They had their wedding at the little dog park by their house in Long Beach, Ca. They also had a beautiful little lady making unlimited (note: the unlimited) crapes for the reception. I learned how to line dance from Doris’ cousin. And we finished the night with Marco’s enchilada casserole and Chanandra&Darrel’s peach cobbler! YUM.

Here are a few pictures:

Sonia, Marco, the pups, and the bride&groom:
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Wedding cake + lego cake-topper (courtesy of yours truly):
wedding2

Bride&Groom interpretive ritual wedding dance:
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ME and Abbey with the bride (we both caught the bouquet!!!!!!):
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After the wedding, I went to spend a few days and Christmas with my momma! ❤
It was the best seeing her. She is so hard working and just an all around amazing mother. Seriously. I couldn't ask for a better role model, friend, mother, and mentor in my life. She is everything I want to be when I grow up. Luckily, she didn't work the entire time I was there, so we spent a lot of time together. 🙂 Most of everyone came over on Christmas Eve… Then on Christmas Day, my mother woke me up (like she used to when I was a little boy, by shaking me, hugging me, and getting me excited about something cool) and she took me on a little road-trip through the Yosemite Mountains (my first time). It was the COOLEST and most BEAUTIFUL sights to see, even if we didn't actually go in the park. That is a moment I'll never forget.

The next day my momma went back to work and I went back to Marco's since I'd be flying out a day later. I spent more time with Doris&Royce, which was so nice. (Like old times)

I returned to Chicago the next day, got here quite late and went straight to bed. I had Pilates the day after my return, as well as work. Eventually, later in the week, I found a Groupon for unlimited yoga at the Chicago School of Yoga: http://www.chicagoschoolofhotyoga.com/
I now go to the 6:30a classes before warm up and sometimes to the evening classes, too!

Monday showed me the WORST of the worst when it comes to Midwestern weather.
Tuesday was also quite rough. My friend Emely from work and I went to the 6:30a and got there a bit late. This was awful because we didn't get to take class and we had to hang out in the cold (eventually at McDonalds) for an hour. We started our new semester with 9a Pilates, then returned to Ballet and Contemporary. It was good to see all of my amazing instructors again. Although, it was rough to be back. All muscle and control I had was gone, but luckily, so was the tension. That night, all the tension came back though, during work. :-/ ha!

Wednesday: 6:30a yoga was fantastic! It really woke me up. Started warming up at 8:30a, followed by Ballet and Contemporary after. I was drastically sore from the day before, but Laura did help by pointing out a few of my many mistakes in class. I really love corrections, it just escalates your growth. Laban was just what I needed after extreme soreness.. But it just showed me how tight I had become after a day of dancing.

Thursday: 6:30a yoga, woke me up. I feel like the 6:30 yoga classes are a bit more physical since they treat it as the people's only workout for the day. Its hard having a challenging class, followed by a full day of dancing! Warm up, ballet and contemporary. We had Meredith for ballet, which was SO AMAZING. Her classes are one of my favorites, and her energy really inspires me so much! I learned a lot from this class (as I do from all classes). This evening, I went to take the inversions class at the yoga studio. I learned to do many new inversions, which was so awesome!!!!!!!! I was inspired by this video:

Friday: 6:30a yoga, exhausted at this point. Warm up, ballet and contemporary. Today we had a guest for contemporary, which was Rebecca Lemme. Her class was a SUPER released based, floor wildness class. I was EXHAUSTED halfway into this one. A lot of inversions. 🙂 Instead of Pilates, we had a Physical Therapy lecture/activity class. We learned and did, a lot of effective warming up exercises which can help prevent injuries and strengthen. We also learned new rolling out techniques, one of which HURT like no other!

After that, I rushed over to an interview I had. (Still no word back from them :-/) I grabbed lunch after the interview and went to perform at Chicago’s Annual Comedy SketchFest! I was performing with a group called THUNDERDOME: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thunderdome/222463937894033
They’re quite funny and such great people. This wasn’t the type of performance I thought it’d be, but it was fun! There was a lot of improvisation on the spot, due to lack of information, what they wanted and stage size/slipperiness. We did a dance to “It’s Raining Men”, a tribal dance, and a sped-up-clown-chase-song-dance-thing… Not what I expected, but again, it was FUN! Also great to be in front of an audience again.

Saturday: Had a photo-shoot early in the morning before work. Then I worked. Then I had another photo-shoot. The second shoot was a promotion for a run that’s sponsored by Miller Lite and themed of Rollie Fingers.
This guy:
download

It was my first group shoot. And it was really fun. Me, one guy, and three girls. All wearing sweat bands, running shorts, shirts, long socks, curly mustache’s like Finger’s, wigs, beer hats, and sporting Miller Lite in some shoots. It was really fun to do this one.

Well.. That’s all I have for ya folks. Gonna watch my favorite web-series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl:

You gotta watch up to the 6th episode to REALLY get into it. It is HILARIOUS!

Oh and I have one more FUNNY video to show. It is a sketch on the Chicago-style Pilates class. Go to this link: http://clearlyinc.blogspot.com/2009/06/chicago-style-pilates-class.html?spref=fb

Ruben

Step 26: Humbling Experience

Hello all,

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So I have been working my butt off at my evening job, that one famous theater, on Hollywood blvd. To be honest, the work is not the hard part, it’s standing on $7, worn out, black-leathered dress shoes from Goodwill, kills your feet. It’s also unflattering to be seen with a favored kids large white button up along with my $5 two sizes larger dress pants, also from Goodwill. I’m a thrift bandit, but these items were very last minute and not necessarily by choice. The only aspect of my uniform that is somewhat okay is the bow tie, unfortunately, it’s a clip on.

The work involved so far:

standing for several hours on concrete floor, wishing people would show up and need my professional concessions knowledge, trying to convince people that the same panda bear cookies priced at $3.75 (also found at Target for $1) is not a rip off, and doing my best to resist the urge of wanting to walk out, uttering ‘C-ya‘.

It isn’t as bad as it sounds, at a fashionable $8/hr, we are lucky we get free movie privileges, oh and don’t forget the free popcorn and soda! I like it so far, the people are interesting and very kind, most of them. I keep telling myself that any amount of extra money is well worth it, to reach my Chicago dream goal. I worked at an AMC before, my first year in college, when I quit I swore I’d never have a minimum wage job, which is why this is a humbling experience. It’s tough, a recent physics grad working for so little. I look around this theater and cant help but think ‘these people deserve MUCH more than minimum wage...most of them‘.

There are kids (ages 18-20) at this job that inspire me. Most have moved from far places: Florida, Colorado, etc. to Hollywood, and got jobs at this theater just to pursue acting, filming, and such. I know that I’m at that point in my life where I am able to do what I want and follow any crazy dream.

I’ve decided to move on September 21st. They have flights from LAX to ORD starting at $98! I know I said I’d never fly Spirit, but I might have to… I still need your help with fundraising money for my mission, any amount will help:

http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

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I’ve been doing all my regular exercises, but not much dancing, other than the occasional improv at Griffith Park. Dancing, it’s expensive!



I was about to attempt to buy my flight today, but something stopped me. Other than being so low on funds, the thought that I can just sacrifice all that I have for dance is astounding! I have TWO jobs, live in Hollywood, working things out with my partner, live in the same state as my mother and friends… If I move, I need to find a job, place to live, possibly lose my relationship AGAIN, and try to find ways to visit home. It’s tough. I’m still going to do it, but it’s difficult. I always have that little voice wondering if I’m doing the right thing.. All I know is that I’m doing it, regardless.

Tomorrow I start my second job. And another reason to make moving difficult. Humans create these bonds with one another so easily. I can’t say that I’ll miss LA much, not nearly as much as I will miss my friends and family..

It’s always better to try than not.
I won’t go through life asking myself ‘what-if?’
All I know is that there are several people who believe in me, and I’ll use that much to fuel my drive to succeed. Nothing will stop me.

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Ruben

Step 23: Dark Matters: Jobs=Body Toning

Hey all,

It has been a while since I’ve posted since I haven’t had much to write about. Everyday has been the same: I was attending rehearsals (had to stop since I couldn’t afford to keep going, and I needed to find a job first), looking for work, daily yoga practice, ab series, and daily theraband workouts.

I am happy to say that I have now found a job!!!!! I am now an entry-level employee at the TaxCredit Co., which is one block away from my house! That means that I don’t need to pay to get to work = saving money already! It’s a nice paying job, full-time, and even has medical/dental after the first 30 days. Luckily, I have also been interviewed for the Chinese Theater and Subway, to work TWO jobs, so I can make enough money to get back to Chicago ASAP! My plan is to work my first 8 hours early in the day (M-F), with the Tax Co and the other 4-8 hours in the evening(M-S)!

Sadly, I haven’t been able to take ballet since I haven’t had the money. Maybe when I start working I will be able to continue to take ballet again, before I move back. The fact that I begin work on Sept 9th just means that it will take me FOREVER to return to Chicago! That is why I still am hopeful that you all out there will donate to my cause, so I can quickly return to Chicago and begin my scholarship program. I want to become the best dancer that I can be and I know that this program will excel me to dance heights I could never have imagined!

To get to my fundraising link, go here: http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

So, onto a few other subjects. Crystal Pite + “Dark Matters” = AMAZING!!! (&cheap)
I watched Dark Matters from this website: http://www.ontheboards.tv/performance/dance/dark-matters
It is priced for only $5, for a 48hr viewing rental. Before I give my review of it, check out its ‘trailer’:

Okay, so my review of Dark Matters:

    I thought that this was an extremely compelling piece. It was provocative and astonishing, in the sense that Crystal Pite was able to embody the idea of “Dark Matter” into a dance; it was done very well too, by the use of the lighting, as well as stage, and the embodiment of this dark matter as a controlling force within the Universe. I have always looked up to Crystal Pite, as her work and she, herself, is world renowned, which is why the choreography was not at all lesser than expected. The dancers of KiddPivot are flawless and amazing, with ranging dance technique and uniqueness in each and ever performer, yet a sense of unison when needed, but not in a robotic sense, just a unity of personas. Pite’s movement is innovative, exploring each and all the crooks and crannies of the body.

    I would say that as remarkable as this dance was, it was not as astounding as the first segment of the work: the puppet scene. In an almost Pinocchio-Frankenstein story-fusion, the characters are so well developed and the stage is very present. The lead male and puppet take you on such an amazing – yet emotional – journey that explores the human condition and heart. I would say that the trailer is VERY misleading, but in a VERY VERY good way, it won’t disappoint.

    Sadly, my only critique: Because the puppetry segment was so detailed and involved, it caused the dance scene afterwards to have less of an impact on me. I am all for dancing, especially her work, but the theatricality and connection I had with this amazing story that combined fairy-tale with science fiction and physics was lost once the dancing started. Not sure if anyone else will have the same point of view, but I completely encourage everyone to try this one out and do know that the $5 you spend on this is well worth it! It is a streamed video, so make sure you watch it near fast internet. It is also only able to play with flashplayer, so no ipads or iphones, sorry!

Doing yoga everyday, I have noticed that I still haven’t taken care of the back side of my body. I really struggle with my body, wanting the ‘perfect’ shape, like everyone else. Sadly, I have always been very insecure with my lower and upper back; I’m not heavy or have fat there, but I do have a lot of extra skin.. So, my goal is to produce more muscle there, to fill up the skin on my back so it doesn’t appear to have ‘extra stuff’. I found this great website called Fitness Blender (http://www.fitnessblender.com), it gives great workout routines and such, but I want to ask all of you out there that have maybe struggled with this, or have more knowledge on muscle building, if you know of any exercises or anything extra I can do, I would greatly appreciate it!

Lastly, I have found several great dance training websites that I have been using this week to keep myself in line (since I do my theraband exercises and simple tendu, plie and fondu exercises at home). Dance Advantage (http://www.danceadvantage.net/) is one of these. It has a great article on how to properly do a tendu, giving great anatomic diagrams, and many other articles on subjects such as stretching, strengthening, alignment, teaching, etc.

Okay, well once again, I would really appreciate it if those of you out there that believe in me could donate any amount for my scholarship program (the link is towards the top of this blog). I am trying my best to get back, its just difficult. Also, if you’ve seen Dark Matters, or after you watch it, let me know what you thought about it (comment)!! Finally, if you have any advice on my back, let me know (comment), I don’t want to sound as though I think I’m awful or overweight, I’m not, I just want more muscle to feel like a fuller guy and be happy-ER with myself. 🙂

Thanks

Ruben

Step 22: Omnimon!

So for the past few days I’ve been doing the outdoor yoga, which has been amazing, along with the HotHouse project with Jeremy, which has also been great. I’ve been getting quite tired though, and I feel a little sick today. I think outdoor yoga at 10:30a, then 4 hours of improvisatonal dance take a lot out of you. Luckily, I have a few days off. Again, I need to find a job and funding.

I haven’t been able to take ballet over the past few days, since I’ve been doing the yoga/rehearsal thing. I am hoping to take ballet again tomorrow and sometime this weekend, maybe. Yoga has been a great experience, I enjoy having the different styles of yoga from different instructors. From ‘Breath of Fire’ to total Meditation. As my body gets more and more tired, I find that even the most trivial of flows are a bit difficult, such as moving from plank to updog to downdog.

As usual, please share thing link and blog, and contribute to my cause:

http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

My time is running out, and I really need to get back soon. To be honest, I’m trying my best to be as positive as I can be without allowing myself to get down but it’s getting quite difficult. Each day keeps passing without a job, and my money is reducing at such a rapid pace: food, travel, donation yoga, and the now-rare ballet class. I know something good will come my way, but gosh its just so difficult to see it coming. I’m not losing hope, I know it will work out.. It always works out.

On a positive note, I’ve been watching A LOT of Mighty Morphing Power Rangers and Digimon.
This is a clip of how things will turn out for me. I’m going to give it all I got, and everyone reading this will help out and help me conquer it all! I might even digi-volve 😉

Ruben

Step 21: Life, it’s HARD!

Okay, so I have been back home for two weeks now since my intensive. As you might all know, I am waiting to return to Chicago VERY soon, which is why I have been looking for jobs, not only in California but also in Chicago. I have to find a temporary job here in California, to raise enough funds to get back to Chicago in a month or so, and then a job in Chicago to have money to survive! Ahhhhhh, life is MUCH HARDER than I ever expected.

Work, its nearly impossible to find. I’ve applied to thousands of jobs by now, ranging from PizzaHut to the LACMA! I went on one interview with the TaxCo., which I loved. The vibe I got from their company is amazing, however they still need to do a second interview, which is understandable but I need to make money now. I am nearing my final dollars, so its getting pretty serious now, and I am trying my hardest not to panic.

I’m working hard to be the best me I can be. As usual, please take a look at my fundraising website or share it with people you know. Any contribution, no matter how small, is very appreciated!

http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

Today concluded my first week with outdoor yoga. It’s been an amazing first week. I have increased my flexibility, but more importantly, my state of mind. It is so incredible to see a huge difference in my mind before the intensive (which is when I hardly ever did yoga). I can now overcome so many obstacles that I was not able to in the past, little things, such as headstands, binds, or simply looking up without having my neck hurt so badly! It is very peaceful and calming. I’ve also been improving on my breath-movement coordination, it gets more practical after each practice.

I also have enjoyed ballet, but haven’t been going as much since that is very expensive. Tomorrow I start a new process with the talented Jeremy. I was asked to be a part of his incredible work, which is so exciting! I can’t wait to dive whole heartedly into his creation process. I thoroughly enjoyed his class at ACDFA, it was enlightening and empowering. I know that his creation process will be no less.

Also, yesterday I saw the Pina documentary! AHHHHHHH so amazing!!! I NEARLY DIED!!! If you have not seen it yet, go see it! It was stunning. I wish I could do work similar to that. She has such amazing organisism (not a real word, but now it is!). Here is a clip of her Rite of Spring:

I know good things are coming my way, and I am trying to stay calm and just breath. Things are looking up for me. They always work out well for me, always. 🙂

Baby steps.

Ruben

Step 20: Short Dance Film

Hello all!

This week is going by so fast, but its picking up nicely.
So I’ve been doing more of the outdoor yoga, which does wonders to my body. I did it on Tuesday, but yesterday I did two sessions! An afternoon session and an evening session. It was amazing. I’m feeling it this morning. 😉

I am very happy to say that I was able to do my headstand! It isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I guess maybe the grass just adds a level of security, where a hard floor adds worry.

I also got my short dance film now! I am very proud of it!

http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

If you have any little cash around and can donate, I’d really appreciate it. I really hope this video shows my passion and love for dance. It would be such an honor to go back to Chicago to become the dancer I’ve always wanted to be. If you can, share this blog/fundraiser link with your friends and family. I need all the support I can get to propel me back to a place that can give me the training I’ll need.

Without further ado, here is my short dance film!!!!!!!

Let me know what you think about the film. Also, I am interested in knowing peoples interpretations as to what the film tells them and what they think its about. Can’t wait to hear from you all!!! 😀

Ruben

Step 19: Scholarship Program Acceptance!

Hello,

Last week had its ups and downs, which has rolled onto this week. For starters, I was able to take ballet with my remaining class cards last week at LB Ballet (twice) and Alva’s (once). It was nice to come back and take ballet in classes that I used to take, and see the improvement in certain areas.

I decided to give it another shot with my ex.. I know many people have mixed feelings about this, but I did feel as though we needed to try again. This is why I moved back in, and we are working on making it work. It is difficult because I feel as though we have ‘reset’ and started back at square one, even though we had a deep, and involved relationship before I left. Its strange. I wish things would go back to the way they were, but I accept the fact that they might never be that again. All I can do is try my best to be better and hope for the best.

It has been hard without a job. I apply to work everyday and today I got a phone interview, which has led to an in person interview! I’m very excited since I NEED work and money right now. Unfortunately, I have had to give up some of my dance opportunities, and modify others because of all the chaos in my life right now. Even more unfortunate is that there are no companies that are auditioning at the moment, they are all full! 😦 Except one, Diavolo Dance Theater. I plan on going to their audition.

Lastly, and most excitedly, I just heard back and I was accepted into the Scholarship Training Program at the Lou Conte Dance Studio (HSDC)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This has been the best news I have had since returning! Because of this new incident, I must ask that people out there be generous enough to donate to my moving back to Chicago and starting the program. The donated money would help me return, find a place to live before I get a job out there, and help with the tuition for the program (there is still a fee).

http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

That is the link to my donation website. I hope that by now everyone out there reading this knows that I am serious about dance and that I have investment a lot of myself into becoming the dancer that I hope to become someday. Any amount donated would be a blessing in my life.

I was so happy that I decided to go out and do yoga outside at a park. It was very nice to just release all the negativity that I had been starting to develop since my return. I know it is hard to overcome obstacles, but now I know that I can do this and will do this. I’ve realized that yoga has become a vital part of my life and that it is much more than just the physical/poses, but more of an internal-spiritual art form that helps to better one.

I told you Chicago, I will be back and better than ever!

Ruben

Ps. If you have any questions about donating, do not hesitate to contact me at RG.MEDINAP@GMAIL.COM

Step 18: Audition Video

Being back in California is difficult. I did not once step in a car over the last month, so being in a car now was a trip. It’s an overpriced-deathtrap accessory! I forgot how time consuming, costly and dangerous driving was!

Consider this:

$100/mo for transportation anywhere in Chicago. No traffic, nothing. Healthier way of travel: walk, bike, subway, and bus.
Vs.
$350/mo (at the minimum) in Los Angeles. Traffic. Sitting for two hours to get to a place that’s 15 miles away. Insurance. Accidents. Gas. Maintenance. Road rage. Etc.

Just a huge difference. It’s a bit scary.

Yesterday, I went to a yoga class with my best friend, Marco. I can’t believe how much more flexible I became in just a month in Chicago. Before class started, I decided to do some yoga breathing, as well as some of the chants I learned through Helen. It makes a difference in your practice. I’ve noticed my spiritual connection and depth since taking Helen’s class. Because of her I got myself a copy of the Bhagavad-Gita! I’m excited to continue my spiritual growth. I dedicated my practice to a continue awareness and growth in spirituality and as a person. Dedicating your practice allows you to hone in on those ideas, which removes all attachment to the bodily aspect, which in turn allows you to relax and ease into the poses. At least that’s what I experience…

I’m still doing theab series, theraband workouts, and stretching. Today, I gave myself a ballet class to warm up. I followed by recording an adagio, grand allegro and an improvisation. It is so I can submit it for different auditions. Here is a clip of my improv:

It was inspired by my return trip, watching Warm Bodies. I went out with my ex.. We’re seeing where it leads us. I dedicated this improv to that idea.

Hoping for the best in my future!

Ruben

PS. Since this blog was to follow my journey through the intensive, I actually realized that our journeys through dance are never ending, even if the project or training is done. I decided to continue to update throughout my real journey as a dancer: life.